The Cyprus government presented a plan on Monday to revive the city center within the historic Venetian walls of the capital Nicosia, totaling 40 million euros, of which €25 million will be financed by Cyprus’ National Recovery and Resilience Fund, which is supported by European resources.
The plan, with an implementation horizon between 2022 and 2026, features the transfer the University of Cyprus’ School of Architecture to the historic Faneromeni School, incentives for the creation of student residences, subsidies to boost entrepreneurship in the city center, urban incentives, as well as a plan to provide economic support for the purchase of primary residences.
“This is a series of targeted actions which will enable the capital to claim that the city is changing,” President Nicos Anastasiades told an event held in the Presidential Palace for the presentation of the plan.
He added that plan will complement other projects taking place in the city, such as the rebuilding of Eleftheria Square, the new National Theater, the revival of the Municipal Theater and the new central bus station at Solomou Square.
For his part, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides said that due to the 1974 Turkish invasion, Nicosia is the only divided capital of Europe and noted that Nicosia within the walls constitutes “our historic identity.”
Nicos Nouris, the minister for the interior, said “that this plan constitutes the beginning of the implementation of a vision and a decades-old goal to lift the uprooting of the city center.”
Constantinos Yiorkadjis, the mayor of Nicosia, said that despite challenges, the municipality remains committed to the revival of the city center.
“Abandoning the area would be tantamount to an indirect acknowledgement of the faits accomplis of the Turkish invasion and occupation,” the capital’s mayor added.
The plan includes €15 million in subsidies to attract facilities for the accommodation of approximately 580 university students either in existing or new buildings, €10 million in subsidies to boost entrepreneurship in the city center, while the government is expected in January 2023 to launch a €5 million scheme to subsidize the purchase of primary residences in city center along the model of the plan for remote and mountainous areas.